Lifesaving medication in every classroom in America; that’s the goal behind a new bipartisan bill filed this week by Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott and Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley.
“Across the United States, the fentanyl crisis continues to rage and take the lives of innocent Americans,” Scott said in a press release announcing the School Access to Naloxone Act, which will provide training and naloxone, which reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, to every school.
“I hope to see this deadly crisis end soon, but until that happens I won’t stop fighting to protect our kids from these killer drugs.”
Fentanyl is now the number one killer among young adults in the U.S.
It is often hidden in fake pills and sold to unknowing customers.
“Leaders are waking up to the fact that we must do more or we’re going to continue seeing record deaths,” said Andrae Bailey, founder of Project Opioid, a non-profit dedicated to ending the fentanyl epidemic in Florida.
Bailey believes the best way to combat fentanyl is putting Naloxone “Into the hands of everyone out there. Schools, bars, restaurants, law enforcement. Everyone needs naloxone. It’s safe. It only works on opioids, so there’s no danger for having it around. We need that anywhere and everywhere.”
The federal push comes one month after two local school districts put naloxone or Narcan in every school.
“Every school clinic received four units of Narcan,” said Collier County Superintendent Dr. Leslie Ricciardelli.
Lee County schools also put the lifesaving drug in schools.
In 2022, more than 110,000 people died from an opioid overdose, according to CDC numbers.
One bit of good news, Florida saw a nearly 3% drop in deaths, the first drop in four years.